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Heart attacks are rare among teenagers, but it may surprise you to know that for some adolescents the stage is already set for future trouble. Many of our teenagers already have the beginnings of hardening of their arteries. The problem is their diets – much too high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Hamburgers, french fries, chocolate shakes – all the […]

You shouldn’t try to force your teenager to exercise, even if he is already overweight and sedentary, but you should encourage him every chance you get. Set the proper example yourself and let it go at that. The best exercises for a teenager in terms of achieving true physical fitness are aerobic or endurance exercises. They must be done on […]

Good communication with a doctor is vital to a person’s health and can be a challenge in the self-conscious teen years. But you can help your teen in several ways: 1. Urge him/her to be honest with the doctor. Doctors have heard just about everything and aren’t likely to be shocked. Honest answers can be crucial to a correct diagnosis. […]

Girls need to know about menstruation well before “menarche”, the first menstrual period, occurs. Too many parents wait until a girl is a certain age, say twelve, to discuss the subject, not realizing that many normal girls may begin menstrual periods as early as the age of nine or ten. Signs that your daughter may be approaching menarche are breast […]

The excruciating big talk about the facts of life, or an embarrassed silence? This is a problem many parents share. And, while sex education ideally starts with honest answers to a child’s first questions at a very young age, it is not too late to start talking now. Forget about the “big talk.” This is too embarrassing and awkward for […]

It can be a shock to discover that your teen is having sex. You may feel anxious, angry, disappointed, and distressed, and wonder “What do I do now?” Here are some suggestions: • First, take time to collect your thoughts. Calm down if at all possible before discussing the matter. Lashing out at your teen can only escalate the conflict […]

The turbulent times of adolescence can mean trouble at school, either academically or socially. If your teen’s grades have fallen, talk with him and his teachers about this to discover the reason. Make sure that he has enough structured study time and completes homework assignments on time. • Consider a temporary dip in grades as part of his adjustment if […]

Some people, especially teens, think sex and intimacy are the same, but that’s not so. Some have sex without emotional intimacy. Others have intimate relationships that don’t include sex. Still others are able to build a lovely combination of emotional and physical intimacy. Let your teen know that intimacy, above all, means feeling safe in a relationship. It means honest […]

Besides physiological facts and pertinent warnings about sexually transmitted diseases, there are five important, and all too often overlooked, facts that teens need to know about sex. This is what you might tell your teenager: • First, sex is an acquired skill. People expect miracles when they first have sex, not realizing that people need time and experience and patience […]

What can you tell your teen about saying no to sex? You might give him the following reasons to abstain: • First, abstain from sex if you don’t know anything about birth control or if you’re too embarrassed to seek or use birth control. Until you can learn about and have the emotional maturity to seek a reliable method of […]